Instaclustr Kafka vs Confluent

See why Instaclustr offers the best Managed Apache Kafka and Kafka support solutions.

If you are building real-time data streaming for your applications, Apache Kafka is likely the best solution for your needs. It is the leading streaming and queuing technology for large scale, always-on applications. 

The Instaclustr Managed Platform will not only let you build and deploy an open source Apache Kafka cluster in minutes, it also delivers a highly performant, reliable, and scalable solution with low latency. 

Instaclustr Managed Apache Kafka vs. Confluent Cloud

Description Instaclustr Managed Apache KafkaConfluent Cloud
Managed Service for Open Source Technologies
Managed ServiceInstaclustr is a dedicated Managed Service and Support provider with more than 100 million node hours of management experience. Our focus is on running open source software at the highest level of reliability.Confluent is a software development company providing managed services, developing and licensing a proprietary distribution of Apache Kafka and related tools.
Managed PlatformIn addition to Kafka, Instaclustr Managed Platform also provides other open source technologies including Apache Cassandra, Apache Spark, OpenSearch, and Redis so that you can use a single provider for your data infrastructure.Only proprietary software based on Kafka.
Open Source100% open sourceMix of open source and proprietary offerings available
CostTransparent pricing—you simply pay your cloud provider charges and a flat management fee on top of that.Confluent pricing is based on data in, out, and stored and thus very difficult to understand and compare.
Security Certification and SLAs
Independent Security CertificationInstaclustr is the first managed service provider to be SOC 2 certified for its Cassandra applications, and this has been extended to all our managed service applications including Managed Kafka.

Additionally, we are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant.

Contact us about HIPAA-compliant options for health data.
SOC 2 Certified and PCI-DSS is available
Uptime SLAsUp 99.999%(26s/month)Nothing with Basic. Standard and Dedicated come with 99.95% SLA (21m 54s/month).
Latency SLA99% of read/write transactions within specified latency thresholdNone
Cloud Providers and Plan
Amazon Web ServicesYesYes
Google Cloud PlatformYesYes
Digital OceanYesNo
Microsoft AzureYesYes
On-Prem Managed ServiceYesNo
Automatic Use of Multiple Availability ZonesYesNot with Basic. Available with Standard and Dedicated
Fixed Monthly Price Inclusive of Cloud Provider Charges (Run in Instaclustr’s Cloud Account) Availability ZonesYes (as an option)No (transaction volume-based pricing)
Option to Run in Your Own Cloud Provider Account
Transparency for Underlying ResourcesInstaclustr’s pricing and deployment model allows you to understand exactly what you are paying for.Pricing available on bandwidth consumption i.e total amount of data transferred in and out of your cluster. 

Different pricing for Basic, Standard, and Dedicated plans.
24/7 Expert SupportIncludedNot Included
Support TiersEnterprise-level, critical application ready support for all production clusters.Costs extra to get Developer, Business, or Premier support tiers.
Kafka Version Supportv2.1+ with user choice of version.Latest Confluent Platform version only.
Monitoring DashboardInstaclustr provides a fully managed console where you can manage and monitor all your data. 

The best aspect about Instaclustr console is that it is fully managed and you can work on all your open source technologies on Instaclustr Managed Platform from a single command center.
Confluent provides a self-managed control center for Kafka and some console-based monitoring
Monitoring APIKey Kafka metrics are available via the Instaclustr Monitoring API and can easily be integrated with third-party monitoring solutions such as DataDog and Prometheus.

Instaclustr has a more extensive metrics API.
Proprietary format Metrics API
Technology Parameters
UpgradesYes—with zero downtime model and timing agreed with customer.Yes—but timing entirely at Confluent’s discretion except for breaking changes.
VPC PeeringYes—Custom VPC which allows customers to create Kafka clusters in their existing VPC.

Available for dedicated clusters in AWS and Azure.
Managed ZooKeeperYes—We provide an option for dedicated ZooKeeper nodes which provides benefits in situations that require high performance and reliability

Backup and RestoreZooKeeper backup and restore.
Active/Active Kafka Architecture using MirrorMaker 2 in a Managed Kafka Connect cluster available as an option.
Streams API
Customers can write and run their own streams applications on their own servers.
Provisioning API
Create a Kafka cluster via API
Terraform Provider for Cluster ManagementYesNo
REST Proxy
Provides universal access to Kafka from any network connected device via HTTP
Fully Managed REST Proxy available as an add-on when creating Instaclustr Managed Apache Kafka cluster.Unsupported, must be managed by customer.
Schema Registry
Data compatibility with a central registry for schema format and evolution
Fully managed Schema Registry support as an add on for Kafka offering on InstaclustrYou can use Confluent Cloud Schema Registry to manage schemas in Confluent Cloud.
Managed Kafka Connect
Kafka Connect is part of Apache Kafka 
Fully managed Kafka Connect available on Instaclustr Managed Platform. 

Bundled with our Kafka Connect are fully supported connectors for Cassandra, AWS S3, and Elasticsearch/OpenSearch.
Specific connectors supported. Most are proprietary rather than open source.

If you want to run a connector not yet available in Confluent Cloud, you must run it yourself in a self-managed Kafka Connect cluster.
Custom Kafka ConnectorsYou can deploy your own custom developed connectors, connectors from the open source ecosystem, or connectors that you have licensed. We can also build the custom connectors you require.No
Migrate an existing Kafka installation to Managed Service.
Migration planning and execution provided at no additional cost. Zero-downtime migration available in most cases.Unknown
Data BalancerInstaclustr support team ensures topics stay balanced when new nodes are added.Confluent provides automatic support.
Active/Active Managed Kafka Mirroring
Replicates data between clusters within or across regions for DR and other purposes
Fully Managed Apache Kafka MirrorMaker 2 including relevant SLAs and configuration UI.Self installed and managed—Confluent’s proprietary Replicator software.
Service BrokerInstaclustr Service broker, which adheres to Open Service Broker Standard industry specification, allows customer’s cloud native apps running on Kubernetes to seamlessly integrate with the Instaclustr Managed Platform while remaining fully portable across various cloud platforms. This enables customers to build multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud environments. This is in addition to existing Instaclustr’s bespoke APIs.No
Tenancy ModelSingle-tenant clusters by default.Multi-tenant by default, costs extra for single-tenancy.

Benefits of Instaclustr Managed Kafka

Instaclustr Managed Kafka is the best way to run Kafka in the cloud, providing you with a production-ready and fully supported Kafka cluster in minutes.

Our commitment to open source is based on the real benefits that we see on a daily basis. Developed by large communities, open source is delivering benefits such as cost, flexibility, transparency, security, and technology freedom.

As the open source-as-a-service company, we regularly commit patches and new features to the projects.

We provide fully managed Apache Kafka database clusters, integrated with other core data layer open source technologies.

Instaclustr’s technical operations teams have extensive experience running, operating, and supporting open source software. Our support options give you round-the-clock access to expert technical support

Security has been baked into Instaclustr’s platform and operations since Day One. We understand that you are trusting us with your valuable data, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We are SOC 2 Certified and offer PCI-DSS as an option for our Managed Kafka service.

We support both Run In Your Own Account (RIYOA) and Run In Instaclustr’s Account (RIIA) in the cloud for our Managed Kafka and other core open source technologies.

On our managed platform, Kafka can be provisioned on AWS, GCP, and Azure and is bundled up with a host of additional features ready for enterprise deployment.

100 million+ node hours under management and managing over 9PBs of data across a wide and diverse set of use cases and industries.

Instaclustr Kafka Support vs Confluent Platform Support

FeaturesInstaclustr (Enterprise Support)Confluent – Support only available with purchase of Confluent Platform
Technology100% Open Source Apache Kafka including Kafka Connect, MirrorMaker, Zookeeper and Kafka Streams. Schema Registry and REST proxy also supported.Confluent Platform—based on open source Apache Kafka but with proprietary extensions.
Response SLAsAs low as  10 minutes (20 minute standard)
24 x 7 critical incident resolution guarantee.

30 minutes response SLA for the Premier Plan for Critical business impact cases.
Commercial OfferingSupport – you use the free, open-source software and pay Instaclustr to provide the assistance you need for quick resolution of issues and reliable operations. You are free to continue using the software if you end your use of Instaclustr’s services.Licence—you are paying Confluent for a licence to use their proprietary software on a subscription basis. A level of support is provided as per traditional proprietary software. Should your subscription lapse, you no longer have the right to use the software.
PriceTypically significantly cheaperTypically significantly more expensive
Operational SupportYes – from hands-on operators working in our managed service operations teamYes
Code-fix SupportYesYes
Monitoring, Data Observation & Topic ConfigurationInstaclustr provides a free licence for Operatr, a powerful tool designed  to assist developers truly understand their Kafka application, with Apache Kafka support subscriptionConfluent Control Center and KSQL provide some similar functionality

24X7 Instaclustr Expert Support for Apache Kafka

Backed by our 24/7 expert support team, the Instaclustr Managed Platform will eliminate the operational burdens so that your development and SRE teams can focus on building your application.

*The comparison is based on publicly available information at the time of publication.